Angry and anxious residents, businesses and commuters met in Crews Hole Road today to raise their concerns about the “giant one-way system,” planned for the area.
Bristol city councillors Steve Pearce and Fabian Breckels, who represent St George East, and Phil Bird, a member of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, who came along to today’s meeting in the street were bombarded with concerns and at times tempers flared.
Many people said the first they heard about Bristol City Council’s scheme to make the road safer for cyclists and pedestrians, which involves trialling a number of one-way sections on Conham Road, Crews Hole Road and Beaufort Road, was when they read about it in The Week In last month.
St George resident Margaret Doyle, who brought a petition headed ‘One way? No way!’ along to the meeting, said: “It if wasn’t for The Week In we would not know about this plan. It’s all been done behind closed doors.”
Freja Shamanka, of Butlers Walk, just off Crews Hole Road, who has set up a Facebook information page and an online petition opposing the scheme, said: “The anticipation of this shocking plan is already causing myself and other residents a huge amount of stress.
“Why weren’t we consulted? This is going to have a huge impact on all of us and something absolutely must be done to stop it.”
Cllr Breckels said he was open-minded about the proposals but stressed that something had to be done because of the number of accidents in Crews Hole. He said: “This is not set in concrete. We are trying it out. If people say that it is wrecking our lives then we can do something else.”
He announced that there would be a meeting on November 6 at 7pm at the Woodwise Academy in Crews Hole Road so that people affected could meet city council officials and councillors to discuss the scheme.
The online petition says that the plan to close both Crews Hole Road to eastbound traffic and Beaufort Road/The Avenue to westbound traffic, effectively makes everyone use a giant one-way circuit which feeds directly onto the already heavily congested A431.
“Incredibly they have planned this one-way system without providing any additional traffic lighting at the major junctions so people will simply have to sit there hoping someone will let them out. This will make travelling anywhere north of the Avon an absolute nightmare, especially at rush hour. If you live in Crews Hole, Hanham, Conham, Willsbridge, Longwell Green, St George, Redfield, or south Kingswood, you will likely be directly affected.
“Closing Crews Hole Road to eastbound traffic will cause massive financial hardship and stress for local residents and businesses. The permanent detour will add nearly two miles up a steep hill and across at least two extra major junctions, every single drive home. Aside from the massive stress and inconvenience this unnecessary detour will cause residents and businesses, it will also cost them on average a minimum of an additional £350+ per year.
“Closing Crews Hole Road to Eastbound traffic will also cause additional congestion and pollution in the North East Bristol area – all for the apparent benefit of a handful of cyclists and pedestrians that currently use Crews Hole Road. Despite the plan’s apparent concern for the welfare of pedestrians and cyclists, absolutely no consideration has been made for those who use or live on the roads that will bear the brunt of the massive increase in traffic on the detour routes. i.e. Church Road (A420), Summerhill Road all the way to Hanham (A431), and the Pile Marsh area.) Netham and Beaufort Roads will be replacing the current ‘rat run’ and will be effectively carrying all commuter traffic heading towards Hanham from Feeder Road.
“The current plan to close Crews Hole Road to eastbound traffic is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately. Any subsequent plans to improve the road should be made through proper consultation with those who actually rely on it for daily access to their homes and businesses, rather than quietly behind Bristol City Council’s door with less than transparent reasons provided.”
The plans went on display at St George Library on Monday and will be there until the end of October. Comments can be left in the Neighbourhood Partnership suggestions box.
WHAT’S BEING PROPOSED?
A number of one-way sections on Conham Road, Crews Hole Road and Beaufort Road are planned.
These one-way sections are:
- On Conham Road from just north of the junction with Conham Vale, ending south of the junction with Nibletts Hill near the Bull pub and just south of Anchor Close. Vehicles will only be able to travel north towards Bristol. Bicycles will be able to travel both ways.
- On Crews Hole Road the one-way section will be from just west of the junction with Butlers Close to just east of that junction. Vehicles will only be able to travel west, towards Bristol. Bicycles will be able to travel both ways.
- On Beaufort Road at the junction with Blackswarth Road, stopping just west of Beaufort Close. Vehicles will only be able to travel east towards Summerhill Rd/A431. Bicycles will be able to travel both ways.
- On Beaufort Road just east of the junction with Northcote Road stopping just west of the next junction, Beaconsfield Road. Vehicles will only be able to travel east towards Summerhill Rd/A431.Bicycles will be able to travel both ways.